Sato Review

photoI finally got the big brother to the Rhodo that I love so much, the Tenkara USA Sato.   When the rod got delivered I took it out within an hour and caught a trout in the backyard.  Granted, it was a bit big for my little river but I had to give it a shot.  I went out a few days later on the South Fork with it and unfortunately the rod broke on the second or third fish when I set the hook, just snapped in half.   Luckily Tenkara USA has THE BEST customer support in the industry, it was a Sunday and a quick email had a new section in the mail the next day.

Once I got the new segment I was back using the Sato on the larger rivers and saving the Rhodo for the smaller ones. Since then I have used it for the vast majority of my fishing, even in places where I would usually use the Amago since I know some big boys are lurking.   Like the Rhodo, the Sato is a Triple Zoom rod with lengths of 10’8″, 11’10” and 12’9″.    It is very light compared to other rods of the 13′ length, weighing in at only 2.6 oz, just .5 oz more than the Rhodo and a bit lighter than the 12′ Iwana.   It feels very light compared to my Amago and Ito rods yet can handle bigger fish well, my best so far is a 14″ Middle Fork cutthroat.

I’ve fished the rod in all lengths but find I tend to use it in short mode or long mode and so far rarely use the middle position.   The rod never feels tip heavy like the Ito and casts well at each of the three lengths.   I have played with quite a few lines on this rod, both level and furled.  To me it casts best with a 13′ furled line when in full length, I am using a Moonlit Fly Fishing Shogun line which I like a lot.   I tried a level 4.5 but it doesn’t cast as sharply as the furled line.  In short mode I have used a 10.5′ furled line from Tenkara USA and it casts very well.

Now the Sato and Rhodo are the rods I fish the most, saving the Amago or Yamame for places where I know I’m going to run into big bruiser fish and the Ito for when I may need a bit more length than usual like high water situations.    It seems that these two rods together would make a perfect tenkara rod set for any angler and if I had to chose only one tenkara rod the Sato would be it.